To find out more about the long-term effects of the pandemic on children, CNN What Matters talked to California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, who is deeply involved in the state’s aggressive response to the coronavirus.
In an interview with Voice & Viewpoint, Dr. Burke Harris shares information about the heightened levels of stress we are all feeling right now in the wake of the coronavirus, how underserved communities experience toxic stress and trauma differently, and ways to identify and manage stress and anxiety during this time, for our overall health – both physical and mental.
California state agencies, including the Office of the California Surgeon General, came together on April 29 to update faith leaders and nonprofits executives on the disproportionate impact of coronavirus on African Americans and minorities and the array of resources available to combat the COVID-19 emergency.
Research has shown that children who face adverse childhood experiences have higher risk for worsening chronic diseases, increased risk of autoimmune diseases, asthma, depression, anxiety and substance abuse deep into adulthood, according to California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris. At higher risk are children who have experienced untreated trauma before the COVID-19 emergency.
Children may be processing the disruptions in their lives right now in ways the adults around them do not expect: acting out, regressing, retreating or even seeming surprisingly content. Parents need to know that all of this is normal, experts say, and there are some things we can do to help. The New York Times interviews California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris and other leaders in their field to explore how parents can identify and mitigate the effects of stress on their children.
Maya Smith, executive director of the Born This Way Foundation, encourages all Californians to heed the guidance released by California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris in the Stress Busting Playbook, which provides resources and tips for decreasing stress hormones and improving both psychological and physical health.
In the second part of The Sacramento OBSERVER’s discussion with California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke-Harris, she speaks about the need for more mental health providers of color. In the first installment, Dr. Burke-Harris shared her role in the fight against the coronavirus, how COVID-19 can exacerbate chronic stress for African Americans and the impact the virus is having on African Americans overall.
“When there is something like a pandemic virus that sweeps across all of our communities and we see that black and brown folks are dying at a greater rate,” Dr. Burke Harris said, “it’s something that we should all be concerned about, right, about what it says about whether we’re adequately meeting the needs of our entire population.”
Burke Harris, the surgeon general of California, spoke with “Extra’s” Renee Bargh about how stress and immune response are related, and also shared signs that children are under stress.